Assemblymember Marie Waldron – In 2004, 67% of San Diego County voters approved a 40-year extension of TransNet, a half-cent sales tax for highway, road, and transit projects. Recently, SANDAG proposed making changes to the 2004 ordinance by re-directing funds from several highway projects into mass transit.
Since 2004, only 6% of the funds generated by TransNet have been used to build highways, which are used by over 95% of the people, while 66% has been used to construct public transit projects, used by less than 5% of the people. The public transit projects identified for the voters in the 2004 ordinance were front-loaded, while 14 promised highway projects were never started. North County’s economy and way of life depend on those congested, outdated highways!
That’s why I introduced AB 1398, which would require SANDAG to hold public meetings and gain approval from two-thirds of voters before making substantial changes to its spending plans. Fortunately, in a move spearheaded by North County mayors and Supervisors Desmond and Gaspar, SANDAG’s board has approved a compromise aimed at adding lanes to State Routes 67 and 78, along with improvements for SR 52. While 67% of funding over the next seven years will still be dedicated to mass transit, the timing for high priority road improvements was changed so they will be completed sooner. With the growth of our region impacting our roadways, it is essential that we get these road projects moving. My bill will still be ready if needed.
Mass transit systems should be expanded in high-density urban areas, but not at the expense of highways like SR 78 that serve the rest of us. Taxpayers must have confidence their tax dollars are being spent as promised by state and local governments. Since the 2004 TransNet extension included promises for specific road projects, only the voters should be empowered to divert those tax dollars someplace else.
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, AD 75, 350 W 5th Avenue #110 Escondido, CA 92025 – 760-480-7570